Daniela Pelonara

Daniela Pelonara

13 March, 2013
Aroma expert
Founder, Native Essentials

Do you have trouble sleeping?  Are you frustrated with skin problems?  You'd be surprised what essential oils and aromatherapy can do for you.  We speak with Daniela Pelonara, Founder of Native Essentials, about the positive impact of aromatherapy and essential oils and common misconceptions about aromatherapy.
Ecozine: What inspired you to create Native Essentials?

Daniela: I realized few years ago that too many commercial skincare and supplement companies were marketing their semi-synthetic products as ‘natural’ or ‘x% certified organic’ and the more I was reading the labels on their products the more I was puzzled, as often the ingredients were actually indicating the opposite. I was also very aware of the hidden side effects of over use of synthetic drugs and discovered few years ago the amazing analgesic properties of essential oils.  
I decided that I wanted to create a platform of simple and very visual information about plant oils, aromatherapy principles and easy to use tips and applications guidelines.  I strongly believe in bespoke products, and therefore I started to handcraft botanical blends and skincare preparations made with the safest, highest quality lab checked pure ingredients and blended thinking of each individual client.
Ecozine: What kind of training/education did you have to go through to specialize in aromatherapy?
Daniela: Back in my home country, Italy, we are surrounded by wild aromatic plants and trees all year around. My passion for botanicals started there, with childhood memories of making plant extracts in spring for the winter and hand-picking wild dry flowers and herbs to make the most exquisite herbal infusions based on very old recipes. I travelled all over the world for over 20 years and found myself eager to learn and explore the botanical world even more.
I had the chance to live for few years in New Zealand, where I finally focused 100%  on this long time passion and attained an ITEC Certificate in Aromatology from Aromaflex Academy, Nelson, New Zealand. My training included Botanic, Anatomy, Organic Chemistry, Plant oils extraction techniques, Plant oils blending and application techniques, Organic Skin care and Skin health Preparations, Natural Fragrance formulations and of course many study cases. I am currently studying TCM and Reflexology combined with Essential oils, a very powerful form of synergic aromatherapy.
Ecozine: One of your goals with Native Essentials is to educate others about aromatherapy.  What kinds of common misconceptions do people usually have?
Daniela: People think that aromatherapy is an exotic way to smell fragrances or have a relaxing massage with essential oils. Essential oils are not synthetic fragrances – they are obtained by extracting with different techniques from the plant its ‘essential oil’, which to some extent have similar functions as hormones do for human beings.
Essential oils, along with other botanicals like pressed plant oils used in aromatherapy, are actually complex chemical compounds that act as powerful regulators, stimulators, analgesic as well as (only pressed oils) being very rich in GLA or fatty acids and vitamins. Few essential oils are so powerful or potentially hazardous that cannot be sold commercially and if applied in large doses undiluted on the skin undiluted can actually trigger an immune system reaction. Many people and sadly some spa therapists are not aware of this. On a different level, too many big corporations selling essential oils and ready-made products speculate on miracle results of their blends for serious illnesses like cancer, which is very wrong in my view.  My goal is to help people understanding how to enjoy and use safely essential oils and share information via my website and with my workshops.
Ecozine: Are there any particular products that are standouts for you or your customers?
Daniela: My hand blended skincare is proving to be very popular, especially serums (by skin type, condition, season) and moisturizing creams. I formulate bespoke skincare preparations also keeping in mind the emotional state of my clients.
Synergies of pure and organic essential oils are also well-liked, especially for relaxation, for better sleeping, for concentration, for pain relieving, for hormones balancing and for immune system protection. I need to stress the fact that I only use the purest and highest quality of plant oils for all of my products. Safe pregnancy products for muscle pain and stretch marks prevention are also very popular.
Ecozine: What's your favorite essential oil/blended oil?
Daniela: Depending on the time of the day and on my mood I may vary from Bergamot to cheer me up to May Chang to create a fruity, flowery atmosphere or Sandalwood to help me relaxing before bedtime. I always blend few oils to maximize their effect and achieve complex aromas. I usually burn in the afternoon “Burnout Reviver” with Orange, Cinnamon and Pine and my daily skin moisturizing routine is with Rosehip, Pomegranate, my old time favorite Ylang Ylang and or Patchouli, Geranium.
Ecozine: Many people have problems sleeping in Hong Kong.  What would you recommend?
Daniela: Sleeping and all stress causing situations are a major problem in Hong Kong - and not only for people with demanding jobs and deadlines. I receive many inquiries from mothers of 8-12 years old children with sleep problems as well.
I usually try to understand what kind of sleep problem the person has (if it is hard to fall asleep, if the sleep is too light, if waking up too early, if related to hormonal fluctuations..) and identify the lifestyle, including diet and exercise habits. Sleep problems are usually related to emotional unbalance and that’s why it is important to discretely understand some basic general information before formulating any blend.
In terms of oils I recommend, the choice is quite wide - from a very mild Lavender, Orange to grounding oils like Vetiver, Sandalwood and to much more powerful plant oils like Marjoram, Spikenard and Valerian (this oil is to be taken under direct supervision as very powerful).
I also receive many requests of blends to help people with sleeping pills addiction. They need a natural and no side effects way to help phasing out such medications and maintaining a good ‘sleep hygiene’ naturally and long term.  Burning oils (ceramic burner, diffuser) is the most appropriate way to counteract insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression; however, a good massage with the correct oils or a long hot bath and the right mind frame will do wonders.
For more information about Native Essentials, visit: www.nativessentials.com

By: Ecozine Staff


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